INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME
TO INDUCT FIFTEEN
INTO THE CLASS OF 2014
FORT LAUDERDALE (Jan 28) - The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) today
announced finalized results of the International Nomination Committee’s recommendations as
approved by the Board of Directors for the Class of 2014. Led by Australian swimmer Grant
Hackett, this year’s class of 15, representing eight different nations, joins an elite group of over
700 aquatic legends from the Olympic aquatic sports of swimming, diving, synchronized
swimming, open water swimming and water polo who have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame
since 1965. The Class of 2014 will be formally enshrined on Saturday, June 14, 2014 in Fort
The Class of 2014 includes swimmers Grant Hackett (AUS), Agnes Kovacs (HUN) and Tom
Malchow (USA); Diver Peng Bo (CHN); Synchronized Swimmers Penny and Vicky Vilagos (CAN); Water Polo Players Carlo Silipo (ITA) and Karen Kuipers (NED); Coaches Charlotte
Davis (USA) and Jozsef Nagy (HUN, USA, CAN, SPN); Open Water Swimmers Jon Erikson (USA) and Sandra Bucha (USA); Bruce S. Hopping (USA), Norman Sarsfield (GBR) and
Chuck Weilgus (USA) will be recognized as Contributors.
During his Olympic career from 2000 to 2008, Grant Hackett won three gold, three silver and
one bronze medal in freestyle events. In his specialty, the 1500m freestyle, he was unbeaten
from 1997 to 2007, winning every major world competition and held the world record for a
remarkable ten years.
Hungarian swimmer Agnes Kovacs, a great breaststroke swimmer won a silver medal in the
200m breaststroke at the 1996 Olympic Games before winning the gold medal in the same event
in 2000, at the Sydney Olympic Games.
At the 1996 Olympic Games, Tom Malchow won the 200m butterfly silver medal behind the
World Record holder, Denis Pankratov (RUS), only to return four years later to win the gold
medal in the same event. During that time, he set the World Record, holding it for almost a year
until it was broken by Michael Phelps in 2001. It was Phelps’ first world record and he has held
it ever since.
After a six-year retirement from 1985 to 1990, twins Penny and Vicki Vilagos made an
unprecedented comeback at age 27 to win the 1992 Olympic Duet silver medal, only .458 points
behind the gold medal winning Josephson twins (USA).
Born in 1981 in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, in the People’s Republic of China, diver Bo Peng won the gold medal in the 3m springboard at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
The icon of Italian water polo for nearly a decade, Carlo Silipo won seven Italian National
titles in the world’s premier professional league, and played on Italy’s Olympic gold and bronze
medal winning teams of 1992 and 1996.
Karin Kuipers is the third female water polo player to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, behind
America’s Maureen O’Toole and Australia’s Debbie Watson. In the infancy of women’s water
polo during the pre–Olympic years, Karin was a legend.
Charlotte Davis was instrumental in the formation of the USA National Synchronized
Swimming Team program, which began in 1979. She remained active with the National Team
for the next 21 years, until she retired in 2000. During her tenure as the Director of the National
Team programs, the USA was the dominant force in international synchronized swimming.
Hungarian born swimming coach, Jozsef Nagy, developed the Wave Breaststroke that has
revolutionized breaststroke swimming. Nagy and his Hall of Fame swimmer Mike Barrowman,
had a huge impact on the way breaststroke is swum today, originally created on paper, then
proven in “practice” years later.
Rather than retire from swimming after her high school days, as was the case with most female
American swimmers in the pre-Title IX era, Sandra Bucha joined the male dominated
professional marathon circuit and competed against the men, mano-a-mano, and helped pave the
way for Open Water swimming as an Olympic sport.
When he was just fourteen years of age, Jon Erikson made headlines around the world as the
youngest swimmer to successfully swim across the English Channel. Twenty-two years later he
set another milestone by becoming the first to do a triple crossing of the same Channel.
Norman Sarsfield gave a lifetime of effort to swimming on local, national and international
levels. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) (1981) by Queen Elizabeth,
the FINA Prize Eminence (1990) (the only Briton to have received it), the FINA Silver Pin and
Luxembourg's Commander of the Order of Merit (1991), all for services to swimming.
Bruce S. Hopping is Chairman and Founder of the Kalos Kagathos Foundation (KKF). Just as
when Baron Pierre de Coubertin awarded Olympic medals for artistic sculpture in each of the
Games from 1986 to 1948, the KKF has created lasting symbols of fine art that have been
awarded for outstanding performance in the aquatic disciplines. Many of the commissioned
artworks and sculptures are on display at the ISHOF.
In his role as Executive Director of USA Swimming since 1997, Chuck Wielgus has
professionalized the administration and brought revolutionary changes to the organization by
creating corporate partnership opportunities and media platforms for the athletes who have
helped make swimming a tier one International Olympic Sport. He has also defined what it
means to be a Champion In Life - while courageously facing the physical and emotional
challenges of living with cancer since 2006.
About the ISHOF
The International Swimming Hall of Fame & Museum was established in 1965 as a not-forprofit
educational organization in the City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and was recognized by
FINA, the international governing body for the Olympic aquatic sports, in 1968. The Mission
of ISHOF is to PRESERVE and CELEBRATE aquatic history, to EDUCATE the general
public about the importance of swimming as the key to water safety, drowning prevention,
better health and a better quality of life, and to INSPIRE everyone to be a swimmer.
ISHOF’s collection of swimming memorabilia, art, photos and films, along with archival
documents and rare books in the Henning Library, make ISHOF the premier repository and
academic research resource for swimming and aquatic history in the world.